Guidelines for Figures

File size should not exceed 50 MB.

Format should be high-resolution TIFF or JPEG, or high-quality PDF — other formats may not be publication quality. PDFs are especially recommended for flow charts and graphs; PDFs from programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are often of much higher quality than figures exported to image formats from those programs.

Each figure should be fully composited with all parts in one file. Do not upload figure parts (e.g., Fig. 1A, Fig. 2 left) as separate files.

Resolution should be as follows:

  • 1200 dpi resolution for line graphs and line charts that do not have any color or gray shading.
  • 600 dpi resolution for color figures and grayscale with text.
  • 300 dpi resolution for grayscale images, e.g.,radiographs.

PLEASE NOTE that it may be necessary to rescan original images or request higher-resolution originals from the source (such as a hospital imaging department). Simply increasing the resolution in a photo-editing program will usually worsen overall image quality.

Size should be as follows:

  • Width of at least 3.3 inches (8.4 cm) for one-column figures; width should include only the live area of the figure itself and not any white space to the left or right.
  • Width of 5–7 inches (12.7–17.8 cm) for two-column figures; width should include only the live area of the figure itself and not any white space to the left or right.
  • The height of any figure should not exceed 9 inches (22.9 cm).

PLEASE NOTE that the final publication size is at the discretion of the Production team.

All text in figures should be sharp and clearly legible with black or white lettering in the following accepted fonts: Arial, Helvetica, Times, or Times New Roman. Use American English spellings (e.g., “color” rather than “colour”) and American style for thousands and decimal separators (e.g., 10,000.00).

For figures of 3 or more panels, please include the letter of each figure component in either the upper or lower left corner of each panel. (Use uppercase letters.) Do not include the figure number or any punctuation (e.g., brackets or parentheses). For 2-panel figures, identify the panels in the legend as either “upper” and “lower” or “left” and “right.”

Any arrows should be straight and easily discernible from the rest of the figure.


Do not include figure legends, captions, borders, or footnotes in the figure (footnotes should be included in the legends in the manuscript text file).

EXCEPTION: If supplemental figures (to be published online at the discretion of the JNSPG) are included with your manuscript, the figure number and legend should be included at the bottom of figure file.